Wilson class of 59

The reunion committee for the Wilson High School Class of ’59 greets fellow class members late last month.

Wilson Class of 1959's 60-year class reunion was Sept. 27-29.. It included a Domenico’s pizza party at a private Naples home on The Colonnade, a sit down dinner at Long Beach Yacht Club on Saturday and a brunch at Belmont Brewing Company on Sunday.

The classmates agreed it was the quality of education they received at Wilson set them apart.

One alumna, Mary G. Mersky Keigg, said, “Ten graduates from the Wilson Class of 1959 were accepted to Stanford University — establishing a new record of the number of students entering from one high school.”

According to the Stanford Alumni office, there were less than 400 freshmen admitted that year and back in those days tuition was just over a $1,000 a year. Today it is more than $50,000.

Keigg graduated with a degree in chemistry and the legacy continued when her son graduated from Stanford, as did two of her granddaughters.

There was the pleasure of remembering and being remembered during the reunion weekend. Attendees were quick to say fellow Bruins had done well over the past 60 years, and cited examples like Jennifer Adams, who owns a winery; Long Beach orthopedic surgery specialist Dr. Charles Durnin; Casey Cox, who was a pitcher for the New York Yankees; and the late Bob Bailey, who was part of the class of 1960 and was a third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Homecoming princess Camille Glofaver Lang, along with others, said, “Of course we won the Homecoming Game.” Other classmates remembered the football games and dancing at Recreation Park’s Bruin Den afterwards.

Many had been friends since their days at Rogers — a Junior High then, before the term Middle School became more common. Playing on the beach, swimming in the bay to get from the Peninsula to Naples Island and sailing were some of the most common memories.

Keigg summarized her time at Wilson with, “We all came from a simple middle class community. The things I learned at Wilson, I still use — for example I have helped many a student with quadratic equations, and I can still quote the Shakespeare I learned while at Wilson.”

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